Hello, my name is Doner, I am the proud owner of the person writing this blog.

I would like to show you how she transformed the ikea lillberg sofa into something hip and pop and cat-friendly…

ahem, I’ll take it from here, my lovely cat (now get off my working bench)

I have some cats. Every new furniture is selected by how cat-friendly it is. I’d hate to spend money on something that the cats could destroy. That would make me miserable and grumpy and I don’t want to be that person. So one day me and G. decided it was time for a comfy new sofa to replace our old uncomfortable one and the first stop was ikea, of course. After some hours of sofa testing (meaning lying on each and every one of them in a variety of positions) we decided that the new lillberg three-seat sofa was the right one. The soft cushions and the adjustable back contributed to our decision. Plus the fact that the sofa was completely cat-friendly (no soft surfaces to use as scratching post). But the cushions weren’t (cat-friendly) and since I finally mastered my new sewing machine I decided: “I’ll do it, I’ll sew new cushion covers!!!” “Are you sure?” “Yeah, why not!”. After all the original covers were unavailable at the moment and in my opinion not the best choice. First it looked kind of… boring for my popster decoration choices. The white could look dirty even when it wasn’t, the black would magnify the cat fur. Not to mention that the velvety quality would be like a fur magnet, really difficult to clean. I also thought that the frequent washings would eventually fade the black. Who wants a faded black sofa? So I walked towards the ikea fabrics corridor and there it was, with a “new” tag lingering next to it. Just what I was thinking. A nice mixture of pop and cottage, heavy upholstery fabric, easy to clean and colors that would look good even if they fade a bit. Made some calculations and came down that I needed approximately 6,5 meters of fabric, added a meter for safety reasons and went back home, drawing patterns of how I would do it, in my head.

here you see the cat gang lurking over my work bench… (still not ready?! chk, chk, chk…)

First I washed the fabric at the temperature that I will wash it in the future, 60 degrees Celsius. Then I opened a pair of cushions (top and bottom) and took careful measurements. Added a seam allowance of 2,5 cm all over. I decided I would create a cushion box made of 6 pieces, two large ones and four side ones, instead of making a long strip around the sides. The latter would ruin the boxed cushions form and I didn’t like it. Bought six heavy duty zippers, three of 55cm and 3 of 65 cm. Zippers for both top and bottom cushions are placed on the long sides for easy removal of the cushions. Then measured and cut the pattern of top and bottom cushions on craft paper for easy placing and cutting and started cutting. Let me tell you, this was the hardest part of all. It needed two people and required to be careful to cut it nice and straight and was very time consuming. Consider cutting 7 meters of fabric into carefully shaped pieces…oh the boring horror. A sharp rotary cutter may come in handy. Once you have the pieces the rest is easy. First attach the zippers. The side pattern of the zippered closure should be larger that the rest (6cm) and then cut into half. Don’t forget to manually reinforce the fabric where the zippers end (trust me I’ve found out the hard way). Then it’s simple. Take one large piece and start attaching the side parts (first side to big piece then side to side, then side to big piece and on and on). Then continue with attaching the other large piece on the sides. Don’t forget to reinforce the corners with some backstitching of the sewing machine. When it’s over , open the zipper, turn around and it”s over!!! With some sewing experience you’ll need less than half an hour for each cushion. For the bottom cushions, decide how you want to make the straps that will attach the cushions to the sofa (velcro to wrap around or straps to tie) and plan where they will be sewed before finishing the cover.

That’s enough talking now for the photos:

cat crew testing the new sofa (please ignore the walls that need painting 🙂

side view (pillow case is from ikea (yes I buy some stuff too..)

I think Yilos, my o_O cat, finally approves…

Time for a small Update on this post:

Since it seems to be the most popular of my pages so far, I guess more people than I first thought are thinking about lillberg modifications. So i finally dug up my notes which are tidely kept in small pieces of paper among other small pieces of paper in a big folder in my sewing room. So here are my notes (by any means it’s not like an official tutorial here since it’s difficult for me to describe it in english) and you can compare my notes to your notes and even correct me if I’m wrong. (all measurements are in centimeters)

Top pillow (for one pillow)

62×48 (x2)

62×9 (x2) (zipper side)

62×14 (x1)(opposite zipper side)

48×14 (x2)

Bottom (seating) pillow (for one pillow)

72×62 (x2)

72×9 (x2) (zipper side)

72×14 (x1) (opposite zipper side)

62×14 (x2)

Notes: these measures will create some tight fitting pillow covers. If you need looser ones add one or two centimeters. I used 2,5 cm seam allowances. It is wise to first cut an old bedsheet and test your techique and measurements on it. Actually, it’s not just wise, it’s obligatory.